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Budget impasse solved by deal, but, not a long-term solution

File: Utah State Capitol

UTAH STATE CAPITOL – After several bumps in the political road, Utah’s House and Senate agree on a budget deal, but there may be even more budget issues in the next few years.

In the initial budget proposed by the Senate, there were many line items that would be given ongoing funding by the state.  This deal takes roughly $255 million worth of those programs and changes them into getting one-time funding.  Representative Brad Wilson says they’ve also agreed to look for even more items and do the same thing.

“We’re going to be flipping those that are currently on-going expenses to just one-time,” Wilson says.

That leaves some of these programs in limbo, unless lawmakers fix problems within the state’s tax code.

Wilson adds, “We have a lack of general fund or sales tax money a year from now.”

As part of the deal, a task force will be formed to find solutions to the tax code,  Wilson says, “[They have to be] back to the Legislature by August with recommendations on a way to fix the structural imbalance between our education fund and our general fund.”

Senate President Stuart Adams says he hopes this deal will properly motivate lawmakers to ensure the problem won’t happen again next year.

He says, “It also allows the organizations to be put on notice that if we don’t fix this problem, that money might not be there.”